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Superfluid He-3 simulation of cosmic string creation in the early universe

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/1998
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number1-2
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)13-22
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventSymposium on Quantum Fluids and Solids (QFS 97) - PARIS, France
Duration: 21/07/199726/07/1997


ConferenceSymposium on Quantum Fluids and Solids (QFS 97)


We discuss the first experimental observations of a deficit in the thermal energy released after the exothermic neutron-He-3 nuclear reaction in superfluid He-3 at temperatures approaching 100 mu K. We propose that this deficit is associated with the creation of a vortex tangle as the liquid He-3 recrosses the superfluid transition. This process has many similarities with the theory of cosmic string creation during the GUT and electro weak transitions shortly after the Big Bang. Our measurements constitute the first quantitative test of defect creation via the cosmological Kibble mechanism for gauge symmetry breaking phase transitions and agree very well with the predictions of Zurek's scenario.